Sunday, 19 November 2017

Australians say 'Yes' to equality

Greens Member for Ballina, Tamara Smith MP has welcomed the result of the Marriage Equality Survey announced today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The ABS asked 'Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?' and reports that 61.6% of those surveyed responded 'Yes'.

"This is a fantastic result for civil rights in our country - I hope the Federal Government acts quickly to now enable same sex couples to get legally married and give them the same rights as other married couples," said Ms Smith.

"Saying 'yes' to change and to equality for same sex couples is something Australians can be proud of and is a reflection on the long campaign for civil rights by the LGBTIQ community."

"My thanks go to all those in the Ballina electorate who worked to achieve this historic result," said Ms Smith.


The NSW Government has today voted against a Greens motion calling for greater transparency and urgent action on per and poly fluoroalkyl (PFAs) contamination occurring in fish living in the Shoalhaven River on the NSW South Coast.

The NSW Environment Protection Authority recently issued precautionary dietary advice for five fish species caught in the Shoalhaven River after testing found elevated PFAs levels in the fish .

Justin Field, Greens MP and Spokesperson for the South Coast, said the community deserves answers from the Government on how the Shoalhaven River contamination had happened, who is responsible and how this contamination is going to be remediated and prevented from occurring again.

Friday, 17 November 2017

Nationals and Labor abandon commitment to protecting Liverpool Plains from mining

New England Greens candidate Pete Wills and Greens Senator for NSW Lee Rhiannon have blasted the ALP for their abandonment of NSW Labor leader Luke Foley’s commitment to protecting the New England region from mining.

Senator Rhiannon today moved a motion calling on the government to ‘protect agricultural groundwater systems by placing a moratorium on Commonwealth approval of proposed coal and coal seam gas mining projects on the Liverpool Plains, Namoi Valley and Gunnedah Basin.’

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Australia has chosen love and voted YES!

Australia has chosen love and voted YES!

We’ve just heard from the ABS Chief Statistician that, not only has Australia voted YES, but an overwhelming 61.6% of voters have supported marriage equality.

Together, our community has achieved this incredible result. No matter where you live, you now know that your country has voted for equality.

Thanks to today's result we're right on the brink of a major historic reform, and the question on everyone’s mind is: what happens next? 

LGBTI activists and allies like you have done the hard work to make sure a huge numbers of voters returned their survey - and it worked.

Now it is Parliament's turn. Watch and share our message about what happens next. 

Soon, a free vote will be held in Parliament and we Greens are ready to turn this postal vote result into law.

Thank you for everything you have done to make a YES result possible.

In just a few short months, we have come together in one of biggest people-powered movements this country has ever seen. For this, we say thank you.

As all eyes turn to Canberra, the Greens will be there every step of the way to make sure we have marriage equality in this country before the end of the year.

Richard Di Natale & Janet Rice

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Manus island stand-off

At the time of writing, more than four hundred detainees continue to refuse to leave what remains of the detention centre. The PNG government is determined to remove them to the three East Lorengau facilities, whilst our government continues to blame everyone but itself for this humanitarian catastrophe. 

Monday, 13 November 2017

Accommodation for NDIS participants in jail must be found immediately

The news that a young man with disability had been kept in jail because of a failure to find him appropriate accommodation is absolutely heartbreaking and exposes the failure of our systems to address this issue, Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“It’s another example of how far we have to go in getting the NDIS right and the urgency of addressing indefinite detention of people with cognitive impairments. It’s absolutely unacceptable to have situations like this occurring.

“There are reports of four other people in this situation in Victoria and there are others across Australia. This situation has to be urgently remedied. It’s unacceptable. Most immediately there is a requirement for providers of last resort in all states and territories, the Federal Government should show leadership and ensure that states and territories are addressing this issue immediately. 

Sunday, 12 November 2017

New economy- The Greens are committed to renewing our economy

The Greens are committed to renewing our economy from the declining industries of the past to one providing jobs and opportunity.

Key Issues

Ending unfair tax breaks and boosting super for low-income earners.

Buildings and sky
Standing up to greed and power.

Australian bank notes
The Greens have put a costed plan on the table to raise billions of dollars in revenue to fund our schools, hospitals, services and infrastructure by ending unfair tax breaks that benefit the very wealthy.

Infrastructure bank
Getting public infrastructure moving

Australia’s economy is in transition like never before. The industries that have brought us prosperity in the past are now holding us back from creating prosperity for the future. The Greens are committed to renewing our economy from one that relies on the declining industries of the past to one that provides the jobs and opportunities of the future.

Dutton has no choice but to end his humanitarian crisis

Peter Dutton has no choice but to immediately end the humanitarian crisis he has created on Manus Island, Greens Immigration Spokesperson Nick McKim says.

“There are hundreds of men in Dutton’s care who are suffering greatly because of his decisions,” Senator McKim, who is in Papua New Guinea, said.

“They have had their basic rights removed and have been placed in an impossible situation with danger everywhere they turn.”

“Dutton must evacuate these men to safety and restore the basic necessities of life to them.”

“As the UNHCR has again made clear, there is not adequate shelter available for every detainee on Manus Island.”

”They also reiterated that this crisis is entirely the Australian government’s responsibility.”

“It gives Peter Dutton no choice. Lives are at risk here. He must bring this situation to an end.”

November 2

Threats of force against Manus prisoners

Dual Citizenship - Di Natale, Waters, Ludlam

The loss of Senators Scott Ludlam and Larissa Waters has been a tragedy not just for the Greens, but for the Australian people.

Their loss makes clear the need to address this issue of dual-citizenship in an open, honest and transparent way.

“Parliament should immediately initiate an audit of every member’s citizenship status, to confirm which of our elected representatives has the right to serve and which do not,” said leader of the Australian Greens Dr Richard Di Natale.

“For people to have faith in the system, people within the system have to act with integrity. The Greens have taken strong action despite the cost because we will always choose doing the right thing by the Australian people over protecting our own skins.”

HMAS Albatross PFOS contamination - call for mandatory blood testing for all military personnel and base workers

“The Defence Department should offer free blood tests to all military personnel and base workers associated with HMAS Albatross, along HMAS Creswell and the Jervis Bay Range Facility,” Senator Rhiannon said.

“These tests need to be provided now and not delayed until the environmental testing at Jervis Bay is completed in mid-2018.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Government needs to protect Ballina’s koalas

Meerschaum Vale koala
 Greens Member for Ballina Tamara Smith today called on the NSW government to protect Ballina’s koala population and other wildlife as the RMS starts tree clearing work as part of the Pacific Highway upgrade at Meerschaum Vale.

“I have heard from residents in the area about the dead and injured koalas they have found almost daily. The residents have also been told that contractors are not allowed to touch any injured animals they see. There seems to be no process in place for the RMS or its contractors to count the koalas or other wildlife that are dead or injured due to the increased truck traffic or tree clearance.”

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Government slashed anti-corruption forces, axed investigators

Yesterday (November 2) the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) revealed that six investigators will be sacked because of government cuts.

Corrupt public servants and politicians are no doubt delighted to see the ICAC’s work hampered even further, making it easier for them to cheat the system without being caught.

This is a transparent attempt by the Liberals to rein in the one body that keeps them honest.


The NSW Greens have condemned the Government's protracted reforms to the management of the state's oceans and estuaries, describing a new draft 10-year marine strategy as a 'plan for a plan' and inadequate to protect oceans and marine life.

Greens Marine Spokesperson Justin Field said the 10-year marine strategy had little detail, included no funding and largely ignored the risks of climate change to the marine environment and the community's enjoyment of it.

Bellingen Shire Council Survey re heating pool

 Council is considering submitting a grant application under the Liquor and Gaming Infrastructure Grants Program to heat the twenty five metre pool at Bellingen Swim Centre. 

This is a highly competitive funding program that reinvests profits from gaming machines back into the community.  It is one of the very few grant programs that doesn’t require any matched funding.

Before submitting a grant application, Council would first like to understand whether heating the twenty five pool is something that meets the needs of the community.  Heating the pool will have many social benefits, but it will also incur additional operational costs.

Please become involved in Council’s decision-making process by completing the Heated Pool Community Engagement Survey on Council’s community engagement website ‘Create’.  The survey can be accessed by clicking on the link below (please note you will need to register as a user before taking the survey):

Council genuinely values your opinion about this project and feels it is important to consider multiple perspectives.  Completing the survey will ensure Council has a balanced understanding of all viewpoints and this will allow it to make an informed decision that will facilitate successful outcomes for the community.  

If you could distribute this email among your networks and also via social media it would be very much appreciated!

Many thanks for your assistance,


Anna Juodvalkis
Grants & Business Support Officer
Ph: 02 6655 7348

“I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture of their minds, and dignity, equality, and freedom for their spirits.”  Martin Luther King Jr.